THE BLOG
06/12/2014 07:53 am ET | Updated Aug 12, 2014

10 Books For Kids Who Hate Reading

In Absolutely Almost [Philomel, $16.99], my most recent children's novel, nothing pains struggling reader Albie more than attempting to plow through the copy of Johnny Tremain that his well-meaning mother has thrust at him. ("If I tried to read Johnny Treeface again," he worries at one point, "it would probably kill me. And I definitely didn't want to be dead from a book.") Fortunately, Albie eventually discovers that there are some books out there that aren't deadly -some of them are even (gasp!) fun.

Do you have a kid like Albie who would rather eat Brussels sprouts than read a single page of "fine literature?" Here are ten amazing books -- some well-known, others less so -- sure to grab even the most reluctant of readers.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Troublemakers George and Harold accidentally hypnotize their principal, turning him into a crime-fighting superhero named Captain Underpants, who wears (appropriately enough) little more than underpants. With lots to giggle at in both the text and illustrations, this stupendously silly book has garnered legions of fans. Best of all, there's a whole series to satisfy kids once they've caught the reading bug.

Ages 6-10

Hamster and Cheese: Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye by Colleen AF Venable; illustrated by Stephanie Yue

The first in a series, this graphic novel for the younger set stars Sasspants, a guinea pig detective, who attempts to crack the case of a stolen sandwich, with the help of her fellow residents at Mr. Venezi's pet shop. A healthy dose of mystery, silliness, and fun animal facts squeezed into a short, easy-to-digest package.

Ages 5-9

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Tommy and his classmates attempt to determine whether school weirdo Dwight can, in fact, communicate with his origami Yoda finger puppet (yes, that would be the Yoda of Star Wars fame). If the premise sounds loopy, that's because it is--delightfully so. Young readers will adore Origami Yoda's surprisingly sage advice on everything from pop quizzes to what to do if you accidentally wet your pants. Several follow-up novels offer even more laughs and wisdom.

Ages 8-12

The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow

Decidedly uncool BFFs Lydia and Julie take popularity into their own hands by researching their way to the A-list. Presented as a scrapbook--complete with letters, found objects, and copious illustrations--we learn exactly what not to do on the path to popularity (let's just say a dye job goes incredibly wrong). Readers reluctant to part ways with the goofy girls needn't fear--several sequels provide many more hijinks.

Ages 8-12